Apple has introduced two-step verification to the iMessage and FaceTime chat services in a bid to boost security.
Apple's support page explains that the two-step verification process is triggered when Apple Mac or iOS users log-in to iMessage or FaceTime.
The iMessage and FaceTime apps were previously accessed with only an Apple ID email address and standard password.
The new verification process requires users to log-in to their Apple ID through the web which will generate an app-specific password to be used as a second layer of security.
The process differs slightly from the verification needed for iCloud, which requires a four-digit code to be sent to a registered ‘trusted device', such as a phone.
Apple users are also given a 14-character recovery key to allow those who have lost a trusted device to gain access to an account.
People less concerned about the security of their Apple ID can disable the verification feature if they wish.
The additional layers of security have been implemented to make it harder for hackers to gain access to Apple ID accounts and swipe images from iCloud or pose as the account holder on iMessage.
Apple's move to add more services to two-step verification is an indication of the company's commitment to improving security on its Mac and iOS platforms.
The iCloud hacks of 2014, which resulted in private images of celebrities being leaked online, highlighted the need for Apple to shore up the log-in and access process to its services.
Apple has taken an active approach in dealing with security flaws, having recently issued the first automatic security update for Mac OS X.
However, Apple has been accused of failing to meet a 90-day patch deadline to fix vulnerabilities in the Mac operating system, after Google publically revealed three security flaws in Mac OS X.
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